A Word on Prettying Up

I try to be a good feminist. Women should be able to go after whatever we want in life: homemaker, CEO, astronaut, dog groomer. We should never be held back by our gender, or our race, creed, or class. A beautiful woman shouldn’t be taken more or less seriously over a woman with fewer natural physical attributes. But I am a human being (not a panda as I sometimes lead you to believe) and I judge people by appearance.

I was gchatting with one of my dearest friends today, someone who spent all day yesterday helping me contact internet companies, which is not an easy task, the Glittery Gopher. She feels guilty for judging a new intern with a lady mustache and bad hair. I believe this guilt is misplaced. She’s not judging the lady’s work or the right to be there, just the choices that led her to leave the house with that look.

Full disclosure, I wash my hair like, twice a week. I put my make-up on in the subway and I have stopped wearing jewelry because it’s too much effort before work. I don’t spend oodles of time and money on my appearance, but basic maintenance is key to getting ahead in this world. Unless you believe your body is a temple not to be tampered with (as some religions teach), clean yourself up. Bleach your ‘stache, pluck your unibrow, brush your hair. Choosing not to do these things shouldn’t hold you back, but it will. When someone looks unkempt, they do not inspire job confidence. This goes for women and men. Who are you going to hire, a guy with a neckbeard or a guy without a neckbeard? Unless you own an indie record store in 1998 or now but only in Williamsburg, you’re going to go no neckbeard. So ladies and gents, do not be too cool for Nair and Gillette. If your mom didn’t teach you, teach her. My mother, who is the OG of asking/telling me and others to “pretty up” but ironing my shirt, brushing my hair, etc., didn’t start using conditioner until I threw the full weight of my teenage rage behind the fact that Pert Plus was not enough.

We all laugh at She’s All That and every other teen movie that supposes removing a girl’s glasses and overalls turns her from a hideous outcast into a princess, but there is something to making a little effort in your appearance. Shave that neckbeard, pluck that unibrow (women and men), brush that hair. Groom and the world grooms with you.

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